How Tennis Influences Youth Development builds on two previous research projects — More Than a Sport: Tennis, Education & Health (2013) and Teen Sport in America: Why Participation Matters (2018) — that view teen sports as an educational tool and public health asset.
Deborah Slaner Larkin, through the MARGARET Fund at the WSF commissioned the WSF to update the data from More Than a Sport and, as it specifically relates to tennis, build on the findings of the Teen Sport Report by examining participation and retention levels as well as what combination of sports is associated with the best academic, social, health, and behavioral outcomes among adolescents.
This research initiative aimed to describe and analyze U.S. youth participation in tennis. The major goal was to better understand how tennis and other popular youth sports impact teen well-being. The findings discussed in this report provide evidence that tennis participation positively influences the lives of U.S. adolescents. Overall, the data show a general profile of tennis players as well-rounded, successful at school, and involved with extracurricular activities. Tennis players also appear to be healthy overall and less prone to key adolescent health-risk behaviors than non-athletes and their peers who participate in other sports.